Yesterday I went for a walk in the woods. I knew it was risky since the last time I tried to walk there the snow came up over my knees. We’ve had a warm week and lots of thawing so I thought I’d risk it and turn around if need be. My trusty companion, Jo, my 8-year-old Australian Shepherd mix thought it sounded like a great idea as I often let her run in the woods and that’s one of her favorite things.
I entered the woods at dusk, that point of transition I seem to be drawn to. Maybe everyone feels like their life is always in transition? I certainly think mine is. Dusk seems like that in-between space where I can be in both day and night and yet not really in either. Feels like a sneaky spot. To add to the mystic of the experience it was foggy.
The walk was wonderful! Most of the way, the snow was only a few inches. Although there was plenty of water to tramp through, my trusty boots kept my feet dry until the last section of the woods where the snow was nearly up to my knees.
Jo loved running and in those periods of running when I couldn’t see or hear her I thought about how I felt walking without her by my side. I felt the tension of worrying, “what if she doesn’t come back to me or she runs away or gets hurt?” and the freedom of moving by myself not thinking about her. She returned running to me eager to receive both praise and a treat and happy to be leashed again to walk by my side. I reflected on how this is like the responsibilty of parenting. This too is a sneaky spot and I find it’s slippery to not get pulled into feeling so responsible for my children that I forget it’s ok to let them run alone at times and trust they’ll return happy to again walk by my side.